According to a study done by researchers at Northwestern University women might be getting overcharged at auto repair shops. The researchers found this information when they were originally studying whether or not sellers treat their customers differently based on how informed the customer is beforehand. So if a customer knows a lot about what they are buying are they going to get a better price? The answer was maybe.
The researchers also looked into how gender played into this role with more gendered objects of sale, hence why they used auto repair. Since many people, even males, feel like they get jipped at the auto repair shop, researchers wanted to study this atmosphere to see if auto repair shop sellers really did scam women more than men.
What they found in the study was that there is indeed a gender variation when it comes to how people are treated when they appear to be more informed about auto repair and what prices ought to be. When a man was uninformed he was quoted a price about ten dollars less than an uninformed woman would be quoted. However, if either man or woman quoted a price and seemed informed about what they should pay ahead of time, gender differences disappeared in price quotes.
So how do women eliminate gender inequality at the repair shop? Learn your stuff. If you ask around to others before going to the auto repair shop for an estimate, you can be sure that you are getting a fair price for what you are asking for. Since a majority of auto repair workers are men, a gender bias can sometimes emerge without a man even realizing it. They might simply assume you are less informed than a woman might be about the price that you should be paying for your repair job.
The best way to not get scammed at the auto repair shop is to ask questions, and ask a lot of them. Your mechanic might look trustworthy, but the only way to tell is to ask questions. If they really are telling you the truth, these questions will not offend them. Ask your mechanic what the impact would be if a part was not replaced, and ask them what tests they performed to get the results that would make an estimate need to be really high. Ask them what they are going to do exactly to fix the car that justifies the estimate.
Just as you wouldn’t get a surgery if you didn’t know what it was going to do and what was wrong with you that required a surgery, you can avoid getting scammed at the auto repair shop if you ask a significant amount of questions before you agree to a price. If the repair job is not that urgent, you might also try going to a different shop to get a second opinion on the pricing and diagnosis for your vehicle.
The best way to make sure you aren’t getting overcharged is to take charge. Make sure you know what you’re talking about and don’t get intimidated from asking questions about things you don’t know.
Written by the staff at KB Tire & Auto. KB Tire & Auto is the leading expert in auto repair Moberly MO has to offer.